The politics of the Easter Egg roll

posted at 12:01 pm on March 31, 2013 by Jazz Shaw

I’ve never really thought of Easter as being the sort of day when one looks for “star studded events” unless you’ve got a special guest delivering the sermon at church. But that’s never managed to stop the denizens of Washington DC from glamming and hamming it up. This year’s annual Easter Egg Roll on the White House lawn is no exception.

The White House put out the talent line-up and the roster of celebrity attendees for the 135th annual Easter Egg Roll to be held Monday. The announcement came Friday, the day President Obama talked about Jesus’ sacrificial death and resurrection in his Easter message.

Readers on the Storytime Stage will include NASCAR driver Danica Patrick, Minnesota Viking Adrian Peterson, Academy Award-nominated actress Quvenzhané Wallis and Elmo, Abby, Gordon and Rosita from Sesame Street

Really? Elmo? With all those kids there? Well, I hope they’re going to have somebody else doing the voice.

There’s also a clear difference in how various politicians handle the event. For just one example, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and his family have a similar tradition, but not exactly the same.

Governor Chris Christie and First Lady Mary Pat Christie welcomed 300 special needs children, ages 3 – 6 years old, and their families to Drumthwacket for the annual Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, April 16. Overall, approximately 600 participants attended the festivities in the gardens of the Governor’s official residence.

So the President has an Easter egg “roll” and Christie has an Easter egg “hunt.” Makes sense, I suppose. After all, hunting… guns… you know the drill.

I got to wondering how long this has been going on, and was somewhat surprised to see how far back it goes. They were already doing it in the mid 1800s, but the event was held on the Capitol grounds, rising to a peak of activity under President Andrew Johnson. Unfortunately, the little tykes were creating a bit of a mess, so Congress reacted in precisely the way you’d expect them to.

The egg roll activity of 1876 took its toll on the grounds, a fact that did not go unnoticed by members of Congress. With an already inadequate budget to complete the landscaping and maintenance of the grounds, Congress passed a law forbidding the Capitol grounds to be used as a children’s playground. The law was to be enforced in 1877. But that Easter Monday rain poured down, canceling any outdoor activities sending the egg rollers indoors to play.

On Easter Saturday of 1878, a small announcement in the local press informed the egg rollers the new law would be enforced. President Rutherford B. Hayes, taking his daily walk, was approached by a number of young egg rollers who inquired about the possibilities of egg rolling on the South Lawn of the White House. Unfamiliar with the activity [his first Easter Monday as President had been rained out the proceeding year] President Hayes, upon his return to the White House, inquired amongst his staff who briefed the attentive Chief Executive. The smiling President issued an official order that should any children arrive to egg roll on Easter Monday, they were to be allowed to do so. That Monday, as children were being turned away from the Capitol grounds, word quickly spread to go to the White House!

President Hayes and his wife, Lucy, officially opened the White House grounds to the children of the area for egg rolling that Easter Monday. Successive Presidents continued the tradition, and the event has been held on the South Lawn ever since.

So Congress actually took time out of their busy day to pass a law banning children from having an Easter egg roll on the capitol grounds. And to think… they did this long before their approval ratings headed toward 12%.


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Mooches food!

KOOLAID2 on March 31, 2013 at 12:01 PM

Funny, Easter is one of the most important days on Earth and Google would rather feature radical Labour leader Cesar Chavez’s 86th B-day. Pretty messed up Google.

ninjacoastie on March 31, 2013 at 12:02 PM

…they are all cracked eggs!

KOOLAID2 on March 31, 2013 at 12:02 PM

Call it the “Gifts from Allah Hunt” and watch the WH focus like a laser on making sure its a hit.

BobMbx on March 31, 2013 at 12:04 PM

The egg roll activity of 1876 took its toll on the grounds, a fact that did not go unnoticed by members of Congress. With an already inadequate budget to complete the landscaping and maintenance of the grounds,

We’ve come so far. Money is never a problem for this government. Obama and Biden go anywhere, do anything they’d like to do, costing billions of dollars. Except for those White House tours — that’s a few thousand a week they can’t afford.

Paul-Cincy on March 31, 2013 at 12:05 PM

So Congress had a “get off my lawn” moment way back in 1878? I think I would change that right now.

Cindy Munford on March 31, 2013 at 12:08 PM

Scores of children were seen leaving the event crying and distraught, it seems after the egg collecting was over, Dog Eater and Lizzy Warren confiscated all the eggs as an “egg tax” and distributed them to a bunch of other kids who spent the morning napping under a tree.

Bishop on March 31, 2013 at 12:12 PM

Happy easter. May you all find many eggs.

SparkPlug on March 31, 2013 at 12:14 PM

…the politics of feelin’ good…

(razor cuts, baggy clothes, too cool for the dance floor…good times, good times)

Knott Buyinit on March 31, 2013 at 12:29 PM

…will they roll the White House Budget onto the lawn?

KOOLAID2 on March 31, 2013 at 12:34 PM

With two you get egg roll! :)

simkeith on March 31, 2013 at 12:44 PM

You haters, Easter is for Kids, candy, rabbits and jellybean eggs, quite trying to push your religiosity into all facets of life! You’ve already ruined Christmas with your piety!/s

Thomas More on March 31, 2013 at 12:51 PM

If it’s like other years, children of gay and lesbian couples will be highlighted.

bw222 on March 31, 2013 at 1:00 PM

Obama hid autographed eggs for the kids to find. Very creepy

c.j.ammenheuser on March 31, 2013 at 1:10 PM

With two you get egg roll! :)

simkeith on March 31, 2013 at 12:44 PM

Okay — thread winner! No more needs to be said. LOL

Well done pun!

Liam on March 31, 2013 at 1:15 PM

With two you get egg roll! :)

simkeith on March 31, 2013 at 12:44 PM

Okay — thread winner! No more needs to be said. LOL

Well done pun!

Liam on March 31, 2013 at 1:15 PM

…Yep!
…next thread!

KOOLAID2 on March 31, 2013 at 1:21 PM

Obama hid autographed eggs for the kids to find. Very creepy

c.j.ammenheuser on March 31, 2013 at 1:10 PM

Is it just the Obama part that you find creepy? Because the hiding of autographed eggs started with Reagan.

SnarkVader on March 31, 2013 at 1:39 PM

Just an egg roll?

You know how those Filipinos crucify themselves. I am impressed by that.

http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/news/2013/03/27/philippine-bishops-warn-against-good-friday-ritual/

Now not to carry this Savior thing toooo far, but could the White House press corps (pronounced core) ask our POTUS to come out and let a few conservatives get done up like the evil Romans and nail him up?

IlikedAUH2O on March 31, 2013 at 1:40 PM

Resurrected

If I came back from the dead, I couldn’t visit any of my far right friends.

All this zombie killing stuff in style right now would make for a very violent reception, I think.

IlikedAUH2O on March 31, 2013 at 1:44 PM

Resurrected

If I came back from the dead, I couldn’t visit any of my far right friends.

All this zombie killing stuff in style right now would make for a very violent reception, I think.

IlikedAUH2O on March 31, 2013 at 1:44 PM

Happy Easter!

That left me totally curious. How do you mean, please?

Liam on March 31, 2013 at 1:47 PM

On the issue of Easter. Have you read what the pastor of the church bho/mo/kids and many others heard today? Man, what a sermon to plow up snakes?

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/03/31/pastor-at-obamas-easter-church-service-captains-of-the-religious-right-want-blacks-in-the-back-of-the-bus-women-back-in-the-kitchen/
L

letget on March 31, 2013 at 1:57 PM

That left me totally curious. How do you mean, please?

Liam on March 31, 2013 at 1:47 PM

A zombie (Haitian Creole: zonbi; North Mbundu: nzumbe) is an “animated corpse resurrected by mystical means, such as witchcraft”.[In modern times, the term “zombie” has been applied to an undead being in horror fiction, largely drawn from George A. Romero’s 1968 film Night of the Living Dead.[2][3] They have appeared as plot devices in various books, films, television shows, and video games

8 Best Guns for the Zombie Apocalypse:

http://www.gunsandammo.com/2011/11/15/the-8-best-guns-for-zombie-killing/

Now what is the confusion?

IlikedAUH2O on March 31, 2013 at 1:58 PM

Definitiom of zombie from Wikki

Happy Easter courtesy of Swagbucks? and Happy Easter dot com!

http://blog.swagbucks.com/2013/03/happy-easter-3.html

IlikedAUH2O on March 31, 2013 at 2:02 PM

letget on March 31, 2013 at 1:57 PM

C’est la vie!

Let them, then. The truth is out there. God leads always and forever — for those who have eyes to see and ears to hear. God knows, from before the foundation of the world, who will be with Him; His thoughts are higher than Man’s.

We have nothing to despair.

Happy Easter to you and all your loved ones!

Liam on March 31, 2013 at 2:03 PM

Now what is the confusion?

IlikedAUH2O on March 31, 2013 at 1:58 PM

Just trying to understand from you proceed, is all.

Liam on March 31, 2013 at 2:06 PM

letget on March 31, 2013 at 1:57 PM

Well, now they are targeting just “Captains of the right” and not the whole US gov’t and history.

So I guess it is better than Rev. Wright. Who couldn’t be mentioned in 2008 since it was racist to do so.

IlikedAUH2O on March 31, 2013 at 2:08 PM

Happy Easter to you and all your loved ones!

Liam on March 31, 2013 at 2:03 PM

Best idea yet.

Some comments and attitudes are better on blogs than in sermons.

IlikedAUH2O on March 31, 2013 at 2:09 PM

Best idea yet.

Some comments and attitudes are better on blogs than in sermons.

IlikedAUH2O on March 31, 2013 at 2:09 PM

I can relate. Ever notice, though, that it’s the trolls who come here most to sermonize?

Just an idea, if you will.

Liam on March 31, 2013 at 2:13 PM

Happy Easter to you and all your loved ones!

Thank you very much. And a Happy Easter to you and yours also. We are indeed having a blessed Easter knowing what today means to us the gift God gave for those who believe in Him, His Son, and His Spirit.
L

letget on March 31, 2013 at 2:17 PM

Congress passed a law forbidding the Capitol grounds to be used as a children’s playground.

Well, that law is ignored every time Congress is in session.

Happy Easter, all.

MichaelGabriel on March 31, 2013 at 2:42 PM

letget on March 31, 2013 at 1:57 PM

Yes, how dare crazy right-wing Americans think that we should have such outdated things as national borders or immigration laws!

Let’s just invite the whole world to take up residence here — no questions asked. Diseased? No problem! Criminal? No problem! No job skills, education, or English language skills? No problem!

We’ll provide every wannabe-immigrant, no matter how many, with no-money-down, taxpayer-guaranteed mortgages, food stamps, welfare, in-state tuition, $20k a year in Obamacare subsidies (or more, if they have a larger than 4-person family or want more than the minimum coverages). After all, as long as Helicopter Ben has access to green ink and paper, we have no money problems, right?

This preacher, and the president for whom his sermon was tailored, won’t be happy until the entire United States is as Balkanized as downtown L.A. or Chicago, with roving gangs fighting for territory and innocent Americans continually being shot down in the cross-fire.

AZCoyote on March 31, 2013 at 2:44 PM

AZCoyote on March 31, 2013 at 2:44 PM

You forgot voting without ID, no drug penalties, the right to bash and denigrate the white, Christian traditions and any laws that aren’t cool, constant praise of your kids and grades without effort, hetero hate and…

IlikedAUH2O on March 31, 2013 at 3:12 PM

Ruh Roh!
.

President Barack Obama is favoring the Big Ten in this year’s NCAA tournament, ultimately selecting Indiana to win it all.

The president predicted that Louisville, Indiana, Ohio State and Florida will reach the Final Four and that Louisville and Indiana would meet in the title game.

.
Florida is losing by 20 to Michigan with 3:37 to go in the game… President Downgrade strikes again! LOL

ExpressoBold on March 31, 2013 at 4:15 PM

President Barack Obama is favoring the Big Ten in this year’s NCAA tournament, ultimately selecting Indiana to win it all.

The president predicted that Louisville, Indiana, Ohio State and Florida will reach the Final Four and that Louisville and Indiana would meet in the title game.
.
The Kiss of Failure continues… one more to go, sports fans. Let’s see how the Chicago White Sox do this MLB season at Kaminsky Park

ExpressoBold on March 31, 2013 at 4:31 PM

Obama hid autographed eggs for the kids to find. Very creepy

c.j.ammenheuser on March 31, 2013 at 1:10 PM

Is it just the Obama part that you find creepy? Because the hiding of autographed eggs started with Reagan.

SnarkVader on March 31, 2013 at 1:39 PM

Cute, you’re being misleading. He asked about Obama with his own autographed eggs.

Reagan started the practice, but not with his signature. That started with George Bush.

MemROLLbilia

Pat Nixon initiated certificates of participation, a tradition continued by Betty Ford and Rosalynn Carter, who in 1980 also gave out ten thousand plastic eggs, each with a printed note from the first lady folded up inside.

The ultimate eggcitement occurred in 1981, when autographed wooden eggs were discovered in the newest activity— the egg hunt straw pits. Each egg bore a signature, perhaps from a member of Congress (ironic considering they banned the event from their end of the Avenue), a Hollywood celebrity, or a sports figure. Westport Marketing Group of Westport, Connecticut, which had been involved in promotional work for the Reagan inauguration, suggested giving the wooden replicas. The one thousand eggs, a gift of Green Mountain Studios in Lymes, New Hampshire, were milled out of solid New Hampshire birch by the staff of Allen Rogers Ltd. of Laconia, New Hampshire, who produced the eggs until 1998.

Not all children went home with the coveted prize. In response, ten thousand eggs were distributed in 1982, with celebrities on hand to add their autographs. Since 1987 the event’s theme has been inscripted on each egg, and by 1989 George and Barbara Bush added their facsimile signatures. In 1991 the design highlighted one symbol, the forget-me-not yellow ribbon. Imprinted on both the wooden eggs and programs, the ribbon honored members of the armed forces serving in the Persian Gulf. Even the Clintons’ cat, Socks, “paw-printed” a few eggs. Today the official eggs are given one to a child (under twelve) as they leave the South Lawn.

itsspideyman on March 31, 2013 at 5:35 PM

One of those eggs might be Obama’s brain but they are way too big for that.

Sherman1864 on April 1, 2013 at 12:26 AM